US20190368380A1 - System and method for gear assembly lubricant system failure detection - Google Patents

System and method for gear assembly lubricant system failure detection Download PDF

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Publication number
US20190368380A1
US20190368380A1 US16/425,411 US201916425411A US2019368380A1 US 20190368380 A1 US20190368380 A1 US 20190368380A1 US 201916425411 A US201916425411 A US 201916425411A US 2019368380 A1 US2019368380 A1 US 2019368380A1
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Prior art keywords
lubricant
valve
main
engine
conduit
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Pending
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US16/425,411
Inventor
Miriam Manzoni
Gianni Bardone
Giuseppe Bellocchio
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GE Avio SRL
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GE Avio SRL
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Priority to EP18425042.1 priority Critical
Priority to EP18425042.1A priority patent/EP3590831B1/en
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Assigned to GE AVIO S.R.L. reassignment GE AVIO S.R.L. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BARDONE, GIANNI, BELLOCCHIO, GIUSEPPE, MANZONI, MIRIAM
Publication of US20190368380A1 publication Critical patent/US20190368380A1/en
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES
    • F01D25/00Component parts, details, or accessories, not provided for in, or of interest apart from, other groups
    • F01D25/18Lubricating arrangements
    • F01D25/20Lubricating arrangements using lubrication pumps
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16HGEARING
    • F16H61/00Control functions within control units of change-speed- or reversing-gearings for conveying rotary motion ; Control of exclusively fluid gearing, friction gearing, gearings with endless flexible members or other particular types of gearing
    • F16H61/12Detecting malfunction or potential malfunction, e.g. fail safe; Circumventing or fixing failures
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C27/00Rotorcraft; Rotors peculiar thereto
    • B64C27/04Helicopters
    • B64C27/12Rotor drives
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES
    • F01D17/00Regulating or controlling by varying flow
    • F01D17/02Arrangement of sensing elements
    • F01D17/08Arrangement of sensing elements responsive to condition of working-fluid, e.g. pressure
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES
    • F01D21/00Shutting-down of machines or engines, e.g. in emergency; Regulating, controlling, or safety means not otherwise provided for
    • F01D21/14Shutting-down of machines or engines, e.g. in emergency; Regulating, controlling, or safety means not otherwise provided for responsive to other specific conditions
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES
    • F01D25/00Component parts, details, or accessories, not provided for in, or of interest apart from, other groups
    • F01D25/18Lubricating arrangements
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01MLUBRICATING OF MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; LUBRICATING INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES; CRANKCASE VENTILATING
    • F01M1/00Pressure lubrication
    • F01M1/10Lubricating systems characterised by the provision therein of lubricant venting or purifying means, e.g. of filters
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01MLUBRICATING OF MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; LUBRICATING INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES; CRANKCASE VENTILATING
    • F01M1/00Pressure lubrication
    • F01M1/12Closed-circuit lubricating systems not provided for in groups F01M1/02 - F01M1/10
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01MLUBRICATING OF MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; LUBRICATING INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES; CRANKCASE VENTILATING
    • F01M1/00Pressure lubrication
    • F01M1/18Indicating or safety devices
    • F01M1/20Indicating or safety devices concerning lubricant pressure
    • F01M1/22Indicating or safety devices concerning lubricant pressure rendering machines or engines inoperative or idling on pressure failure
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02CGAS-TURBINE PLANTS; AIR INTAKES FOR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS; CONTROLLING FUEL SUPPLY IN AIR-BREATHING JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F02C7/00Features, components parts, details or accessories, not provided for in, or of interest apart form groups F02C1/00 - F02C6/00; Air intakes for jet-propulsion plants
    • F02C7/06Arrangements of bearings; Lubricating
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02CGAS-TURBINE PLANTS; AIR INTAKES FOR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS; CONTROLLING FUEL SUPPLY IN AIR-BREATHING JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F02C7/00Features, components parts, details or accessories, not provided for in, or of interest apart form groups F02C1/00 - F02C6/00; Air intakes for jet-propulsion plants
    • F02C7/36Power transmission arrangements between the different shafts of the gas turbine plant, or between the gas-turbine plant and the power user
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16HGEARING
    • F16H57/00General details of gearing
    • F16H57/04Features relating to lubrication or cooling or heating
    • F16H57/0434Features relating to lubrication or cooling or heating relating to lubrication supply, e.g. pumps ; Pressure control
    • F16H57/0435Pressure control for supplying lubricant; Circuits or valves therefor
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16HGEARING
    • F16H57/00General details of gearing
    • F16H57/04Features relating to lubrication or cooling or heating
    • F16H57/0434Features relating to lubrication or cooling or heating relating to lubrication supply, e.g. pumps ; Pressure control
    • F16H57/0442Features relating to lubrication or cooling or heating relating to lubrication supply, e.g. pumps ; Pressure control for supply in case of failure, i.e. auxiliary supply
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16KVALVES; TAPS; COCKS; ACTUATING-FLOATS; DEVICES FOR VENTING OR AERATING
    • F16K37/00Special means in or on valves or other cut-off apparatus for indicating or recording operation thereof, or for enabling an alarm to be given
    • F16K37/0025Electrical or magnetic means
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16KVALVES; TAPS; COCKS; ACTUATING-FLOATS; DEVICES FOR VENTING OR AERATING
    • F16K37/00Special means in or on valves or other cut-off apparatus for indicating or recording operation thereof, or for enabling an alarm to be given
    • F16K37/0058Optical means, e.g. light transmission, observation ports
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N21/00Conduits; Junctions; Fittings for lubrication apertures
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N25/00Distributing equipment with or without proportioning devices
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N29/00Special means in lubricating arrangements or systems providing for the indication or detection of undesired conditions; Use of devices responsive to conditions in lubricating arrangements or systems
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N29/00Special means in lubricating arrangements or systems providing for the indication or detection of undesired conditions; Use of devices responsive to conditions in lubricating arrangements or systems
    • F16N29/04Special means in lubricating arrangements or systems providing for the indication or detection of undesired conditions; Use of devices responsive to conditions in lubricating arrangements or systems enabling a warning to be given; enabling moving parts to be stopped
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N7/00Arrangements for supplying oil or unspecified lubricant from a stationary reservoir or the equivalent in or on the machine or member to be lubricated
    • F16N7/38Arrangements for supplying oil or unspecified lubricant from a stationary reservoir or the equivalent in or on the machine or member to be lubricated with a separate pump; Central lubrication systems
    • F16N7/40Arrangements for supplying oil or unspecified lubricant from a stationary reservoir or the equivalent in or on the machine or member to be lubricated with a separate pump; Central lubrication systems in a closed circulation system
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01MTESTING STATIC OR DYNAMIC BALANCE OF MACHINES OR STRUCTURES; TESTING OF STRUCTURES OR APPARATUS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G01M13/00Testing of machine parts
    • G01M13/02Gearings; Transmission mechanisms
    • G01M13/021Gearings
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16HGEARING
    • F16H61/00Control functions within control units of change-speed- or reversing-gearings for conveying rotary motion ; Control of exclusively fluid gearing, friction gearing, gearings with endless flexible members or other particular types of gearing
    • F16H61/12Detecting malfunction or potential malfunction, e.g. fail safe; Circumventing or fixing failures
    • F16H2061/1208Detecting malfunction or potential malfunction, e.g. fail safe; Circumventing or fixing failures with diagnostic check cycles; Monitoring of failures
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2210/00Applications
    • F16N2210/02Turbines
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2210/00Applications
    • F16N2210/08Aircraft
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2210/00Applications
    • F16N2210/12Gearings
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2250/00Measuring
    • F16N2250/04Pressure
    • F16N2250/06Pressure for determining flow
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2260/00Fail safe
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2260/00Fail safe
    • F16N2260/02Indicating
    • F16N2260/08Pressure
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16NLUBRICATING
    • F16N2280/00Valves

Abstract

A lubricant system for a gear assembly of an aircraft is presented. The lubricant system includes a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit joined with a valve, and further wherein the valve defines a closed position disposing lubricant through the emergency lubricant conduit when an engine is at rest, and wherein the valve defines an open position disposing lubricant through the main lubricant conduit when the engine is in operation.

Description

    FIELD
  • The present subject matter relates generally to structures and methods for lubricant system failure detection for gear assemblies for turboshaft-powered vehicles.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Turboshaft-powered vehicles, such as rotary-wing aircraft, may have accidents or incidents resulting from gear assembly failure (e.g., main gearboxes between an engine and a rotary wing or propeller). Possible failures can result from lubrication system failure at the gear assembly. Such failures may include materials failure, sensor failure, valve failure, etc. preventing lubricant from sufficiently flowing through the gear assembly.
  • Known solutions include pre-flight systems checks and designing system redundancies. Additionally, ground operations performed by using an auxiliary power unit (APU) may allow a test to be performed at the lubrication system to verify a flow of lubricant through the gear assembly before starting main engine and gear assembly operation. However, in the event of bypassing pre-flight systems checks, failures or issues at the lubricant system may be undetected prior to failure of the gear assembly, the vehicle, or both.
  • As such, there is a need for methods and structures for detecting lubricant system failure in gear assemblies, and mitigation of dormant failures of lubricant systems.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION
  • Aspects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the following description, or may be obvious from the description, or may be learned through practice of the invention.
  • A lubricant system for a gear assembly of an aircraft including an engine is generally provided. The lubricant system includes a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit joined with a valve. The valve defines a closed position disposing lubricant through the emergency lubricant conduit when the engine is at rest. The valve defines an open position disposing lubricant through the main lubricant conduit when the engine is in operation.
  • In various embodiments, the lubricant system further includes a first pressure sensor disposed along the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit upstream of the valve. In one embodiment, the lubricant system further includes a second pressure sensor disposed downstream of the valve and disposed at the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit. In another embodiment, the first pressure sensor defines a pressure transducer measuring a pressure value upstream relative to the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit. The second pressure sensor defines a pressure transducer measuring a pressure value downstream of the valve.
  • In still various embodiments, the valve includes an elastic displacement device. In one embodiment, the valve defines a force Fspring corresponding to the valve defining the closed position, wherein Fspring is greater than a force Fmain corresponding to a pressure at the main lubricant conduit when the engine is at rest. In another embodiment, the lubricant system defines the pressure at the main lubricant conduit when the engine is in operation corresponding to a force Fmain greater than the force Fspring.
  • In still yet various embodiments, the valve is configured to generate a signal indicating the valve is in the open position. In one embodiment, the valve is configured to generate the signal as a visual indication of the open position. In another embodiment, the valve is configured to generate the signal as an electrical signal.
  • Another aspect of the present disclosure is directed to a method for operating a lubricant system for a gear assembly of an aircraft including one or more engines. The method includes supplying a pressurized flow of lubricant to the lubricant system; determining whether a valve disposed at a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit indicates an open position when the engine is at rest, wherein the open position indicates a failure of the valve enabling flow of lubricant from the emergency lubricant conduit to the gear assembly; and generating a signal indicating the open position of the valve when the engine is at rest.
  • In various embodiments, the method further includes generating a signal indicating a closed position of the valve when a pressure sensor downstream of the valve indicates a pressure value not corresponding to a pressure value at the main lubricant conduit. In one embodiment, the method further includes discontinuing operation of the engine if the signal indicates the closed position at engine operation.
  • In one embodiment, the method further includes comparing a pressure value from the pressure sensor downstream of the valve and a pressure value upstream of the valve.
  • In another embodiment, the method further includes supplying a pressurized flow of lubricant to the lubricant system when the engine is in operation.
  • In still another embodiment, generating the signal includes generating a visual indication of the open position of the valve.
  • In various embodiments, generating the signal includes generating an electrical signal to a controller of the engine. In one embodiment, generating the electrical signal to the controller includes generating the signal indicating a lubricant system error when the valve defines the closed position at engine operation.
  • In one embodiment, the method further includes disposing the valve to the open position when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit corresponds to a force Fmain at the valve greater than a force Fspring at the valve.
  • In another embodiment, the method further includes disposing the valve to the closed position when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit corresponds to a force Fmain at the valve less than a force Fspring at the valve.
  • These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and appended claims. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A full and enabling disclosure of the present invention, including the best mode thereof, directed to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth in the specification, which makes reference to the appended figures, in which:
  • FIGS. 1A-1B are perspective views of an exemplary aircraft in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 2 is an exemplary schematic cross-sectional view of a gas turbine engine in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary schematic view of a system for controlling operation of an aircraft in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary schematic view of a lubricant system for the aircraft in accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure; and
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary flow diagram of an embodiment of a method for operating a lubricant system in accordance with aspects of the present subject matter.
  • Repeat use of reference characters in the present specification and drawings is intended to represent the same or analogous features or elements of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Reference now will be made in detail to embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the drawings. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, not limitation of the invention. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. For instance, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used with another embodiment to yield a still further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers such modifications and variations as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.
  • As used herein, the terms “first”, “second”, and “third” may be used interchangeably to distinguish one component from another and are not intended to signify location or importance of the individual components.
  • The terms “upstream” and “downstream” refer to the relative direction with respect to fluid flow in a fluid pathway. For example, “upstream” refers to the direction from which the fluid flows, and “downstream” refers to the direction to which the fluid flows.
  • Embodiments of methods and structures for detecting lubricant system failure in gear assemblies, and mitigation of dormant failures of lubricant systems are generally provided. The structures generally include a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit joined with a valve. The valve defines a closed position disposing lubricant through the emergency lubricant conduit when the engine is at rest. The valve defines an open position disposing lubricant through the main lubricant conduit when the engine is in operation. Pressure sensors upstream of the valve measure pressure at each of the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit, such as to verify operation of a pump providing the flow of lubricant through each conduit. A pressure sensor downstream of the valve measures a pressure value egressing the valve. During pre-flight checks, a signal from the valve indicates whether the valve is in the closed position when the engine is at rest, or whether there is a lubricant system error in which the valve is in the open position even if the engine is at rest. During operation of the engine prior to aircraft take-off, the downstream and upstream pressure values are compared to determine whether lubricant is flowing to the gear assembly via the main lubricant conduit rather than the emergency lubricant conduit.
  • FIGS. 1A-1B provide perspective views of an exemplary aircraft 10 in accordance with the present disclosure. The aircraft 10 defines an orthogonal coordinate system, including three orthogonal coordinate axes. More specifically, the three orthogonal coordinate axes include a lateral axis L, a longitudinal axis T, and a vertical axis V. In operation, the aircraft 10 may move along or around at least one of the lateral axis L, the longitudinal axis T, and the vertical axis V.
  • In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1A, the aircraft 10 includes an airframe 12 and a cockpit 20. In one embodiment, the cockpit 20 may include a collective pitch input device 22, one or more throttle input devices 24, 26 and an instrument panel 28. The aircraft 10 further includes a main rotor assembly 40 and a tail rotor assembly 50. The main rotor assembly 40 includes a main rotor hub 42 and a plurality of main rotor blades 44. As shown, each main rotor blade 44 extends outwardly from the main rotor hub 42. The tail rotor section 50 includes a tail rotor hub 52 and a plurality of tail rotor blades 54. Each tail rotor blade 54 extends outwardly from the tail rotor hub 52.
  • Additionally, the aircraft 10 may include an engine 100 to generate and transmit power to drive rotation of the main rotor blades 44 and the tail rotor blades 54. In particular, rotation of the main rotor blades 44 generates lift for the aircraft 10, while rotation of the tail rotor blades 54 generates sideward thrust at the tail rotor section 50 and counteracts torque exerted on the airframe 12 by the main rotor blades 44.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1A-1B, the aircraft 10 further includes a main transmission 48 disposed mechanically between the engine 100 and the main rotor assembly 40 and the tail rotor assembly 50. The main transmission 48 generally reduces an output speed of the engine 100 to a speed more suitable for operation of the main rotor assembly 40 and/or the tail rotor assembly 50. The main transmission 48 may further direct power from one or more of the engines 100 to one or more accessories of the aircraft 10. Still further, the main transmission 48 may generally change an axis of rotation between the engine 100 and the main rotor assembly 40. Although not shown in further detail, various embodiments of the main transmission 48 may include a clutch assembly to selectively engage or disengage the main rotor assembly 40 and/or tail rotor assembly 50 from the engine 100. Still further, the main transmission 40 includes a lubricant system providing lubricant to gears, bearings, dampers, etc. of the main transmission 48, such as further described below.
  • It should be appreciated that, although a particular aircraft has been illustrated and described in regard to the aircraft 10, other configurations and/or aircraft, such as high speed compound rotary-wing aircraft with supplemental translational thrust systems, dual contra-rotating, coaxial rotor system aircraft, turboprops, tilt-rotors, tilt-wing aircraft, conventional take-off and landing aircraft and other turbine driven machines will also benefit from the present disclosure.
  • FIG. 2 provides a schematic cross-sectional view of an exemplary gas turbine engine 100 in accordance with the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 2, the gas turbine engine 100 defines a longitudinal or centerline axis 102 extending through for reference. The gas turbine engine 100 may generally include a substantially tubular outer casing 104 that defines an annular inlet 106. The outer casing 104 may be formed from a single casing or multiple casings. The outer casing 104 encloses, in serial flow relationship, a gas generator compressor 110, a combustion section 130, a turbine 140, and an exhaust section 150. The gas generator compressor 110 includes an annular array of inlet guide vanes 112, one or more sequential stages of compressor blades 114, one or more sequential stages of one or more stages of variable vanes 116, one or more sequential stages of one or more stationary compressor vanes, and a centrifugal compressor 118. Collectively, the compressor blades 114, variable vanes 116, stationary compressor vanes, and the centrifugal compressor 118 define a compressed air path 120.
  • The combustion section 130 includes a combustion chamber 132 and one or more fuel nozzles 134 extending into the combustion chamber 132. The fuel nozzles 134 supply fuel to mix with compressed air entering the combustion chamber 132. Further, the mixture of fuel and compressed air combust within the combustion chamber 132 to form combustion gases 136. As will be described below in more detail, the combustion gases 136 drive both the compressor 110 and the turbine 140.
  • The turbine 140 includes a gas generator turbine 142 and a power turbine 144. The gas generator turbine 142 includes one or more sequential stages of turbine rotor blades 146 and one or more sequential stages of stator vanes 147. Likewise, the power turbine 144 includes one or more sequential stages of turbine rotor blades 148 and one or more sequential stages of stator vanes 149. As will be discussed below in more detail, the gas generator turbine 142 drives the gas generator compressor 110 via a gas generator shaft 160, and the power turbine 144 drives an output shaft 180 via a power turbine shaft 170.
  • As shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the gas generator compressor 110 and the gas generator turbine 142 are coupled to one another via the gas generator shaft 160. In operation, the combustion gases 136 drive both the gas generator turbine 142 and the power turbine 144. As the gas generator turbine 142 rotates around the centerline axis 102, the gas generator compressor 110 and the gas generator shaft 160 both rotate around the centerline axis 102. Further, as the power turbine 144 rotates, the power turbine shaft 170 rotates and transfers rotational energy to the output shaft 180. As an example, the output shaft 180 of the engine 100 may rotate both the main and tail rotor blades 44, 54 of the aircraft 10 (FIG. 1).
  • It should be appreciated that, although the aircraft 10 is depicted as including one or more gas turbine engines 100, the aircraft 10 may generally receive power from other engine types, including, but not limited to, piston engines, hybrids, or other engines suitable for transmitting power to one or more of the main rotor assembly 40, the tail rotor section 50, a gear assembly 46, the main transmission 48, or other systems of the aircraft 10.
  • It should further be appreciated that the gear assembly 46 transmits power from the engine 100 to one or more of the main rotor assembly 40, the tail rotor section 50, or both. In various embodiments, the gear assembly 46 may define a portion of the main transmission 48 or one or more other transmissions at the aircraft 10. For example, the gear assembly 46 may change or reduce an output speed from the engine 10 to one or more of the main rotor assembly 40, the tail rotor section 50, or both.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, an exemplary embodiment of a system 200 for controlling operation of the aircraft 10 (FIG. 1) is generally provided. More specifically, an exemplary embodiment of the system 200 for controlling a lubricant system 400 of the gear assembly 46 is provided. As shown in FIG. 3, in one embodiment, the system 200 includes one or more controllers 202. The controller 202 may generally include one or more processor(s) 210 and associated memory 212 configured to perform a variety of computer-implemented functions (e.g., performing the methods, steps, calculations and the like disclosed herein). It should be appreciated, however, that the controller 202 may be a programmable logic device, such as a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA).
  • As used herein, the term “processor” refers not only to integrated circuits referred to in the art as being included in a computer, but also refers to a controller, microcontroller, a microcomputer, a programmable logic controller (PLC), an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and other programmable circuits. Additionally, the memory 212 may generally include memory element(s) including, but not limited to, computer readable medium (e.g., random access memory (RAM)), computer readable non-volatile medium (e.g., flash memory), a compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM), a magneto-optical disk (MOD), a digital versatile disc (DVD) and/or other suitable memory elements or combinations thereof.
  • The controller 202 may also include a communications interface module 214. The communications interface module 214 includes associated electronic circuitry that is used to send and receive data. More specifically, the communications interface module 214 of the controller 202 is used to send and receive data to and from the lubricant system 400. More specifically, the communications interface module 214 of the controller 202 is used to send and receive data 435 to and from one or more sensors 440, 441 of the lubricant system 400, such as further described in regard to FIG. 4. It should be appreciated that the communications interface module 214 may be any combination of suitable wired or wireless communications interfaces.
  • In various embodiments, the controller 202 may further be in communication with one or more sensors elsewhere at the aircraft 10, such as, but not limited to, sensors at the engine 100. Examples of the one or more sensor(s) elsewhere at the aircraft 10 may include, without limitation, a pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, a torque sensor, and a speed sensor. For example, the one or more sensors at the aircraft 10 may include, but is not limited to, sensors configured to sense an ambient pressure (P0) or an inlet pressure (P1) at the gas generator compressor 110; a temperature sensor configured to sense an inlet temperature (TI) at the gas generator compressor 110; a pressure sensor configured to sense a discharge pressure (PS3) at the outlet of the gas generator compressor 110; a temperature sensor configured to sense a turbine gas temperature (T4.5) within the turbine section 140; a torque sensor configured to detect an engine torque (Q1) of the engine 100; a speed sensor configured to detect a rotational speed NG of the gas generator shaft 160; or a speed sensor configured to detect a rotational speed NP of the power turbine shaft 170, or combinations thereof. In still various embodiments, the sensor 440, 441 at the lubricant system 400 may define a pressure sensor of a gear assembly 46 of the aircraft 10 (FIG. 1), such as further described below.
  • The controller 202 may be configured to receive one or more operator commands from an operator manipulated input device 260 of the aircraft 10. In particular, the controller 202 may be communicatively coupled to the operator manipulated input device 260 via data buses 270. Thus, the controller 202 may receive the one or more operator commands via data buses 270. It should be appreciated that the data buses 270 may be any suitable wired communications interface. For example, the data buses 270 may be based on ARINC 429, MIL-STD 1553, IEEE 1394, or any other suitable standard. It should also be appreciated, however, that the data buses 270 may, in other embodiments, be any suitable wireless communications interface.
  • In one embodiment, the operator manipulated input device 260 may be located in the cockpit 20 of the aircraft 10 (FIG. 1). For example, the operator manipulated input device 260 may include at least one of the collective input device 22 and the throttle input devices 24, 26 (FIG. 1). As will be discussed below in more detail, the controller 202 may be configured to control the operation of the aircraft 10 based, at least in part, on the one or more operator command(s) received over the data buses 270.
  • As an example, an operator of the aircraft 10 may generate an operator command through the collective input device 22. The operator manipulated input device 260 may be used to increase or decrease lift of the aircraft 10, increase output power or torque at the engine 100, or otherwise actuate or control the aircraft 10. Additionally, or alternatively, the operator manipulated input device 260 may be used to send or receive commands from the lubricant system 400, such as commands or signals indicating an open position or a closed position of a valve 430 at the lubricant system 400 such as described in regard to FIGS. 4-5.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, a schematic lubricant system 400 for the gear assembly 46 is generally provided. The lubricant system 400 includes a main lubricant conduit 410 and an emergency lubricant conduit 420 joined at a valve 430. The valve 430 defines a closed position disposing lubricant through the emergency lubricant conduit 420 when the gas turbine engine 100 is at rest (i.e., not rotating). The valve 430 defines an open position disposing lubricant through the main lubricant conduit 410 when the gas turbine engine 100 is in operation (i.e., rotating via generation of combustion gases 136 such as shown and described in regard to FIG. 2).
  • In various embodiments, the lubricant system 400 includes a first pressure sensor(s) 440 disposed along each of the main lubricant conduit 410 and the emergency lubricant conduit 420 upstream of the valve 430. The first pressure sensor 440 may define a pressure transducer measuring a first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 and a second pressure value at the emergency lubricant conduit 420. In various embodiments, the first pressure sensor 440 is disposed along the main lubricant conduit 410 and the emergency lubricant conduit 420 upstream of the valve 430.
  • The first pressure sensor(s) 440 may generally measure pressure at each of the main lubricant conduit 410 and the emergency lubricant conduit 420 such as to detect correct operation of a pump at each respective conduit 410, 420. The lubricant system 400 further includes a second pressure sensor 441 downstream of the valve 430. The second pressure sensor 441 measures a third pressure value of lubricant egressing the valve 430 to the gear assembly 46. As a pressure of lubricant from the main lubricant circuit 410 (e.g., first pressure value) is greater than a pressure of lubricant from the emergency lubricant circuit 420 (e.g., second pressure value), a difference between the pressures (e.g., difference between the first pressure value and the second pressure value, such as acquired via the second pressure sensor 441) generally indicates to the controller 202 and/or user or operator of the aircraft 10 whether the main lubricant circuit 410 is providing lubricant to the gear assembly 46 rather than the emergency lubricant circuit 420.
  • In still various embodiments, the valve 430 may include a spring 432 or other elastic displacement device such as to dispose or articulate the valve 430 from a closed position when the gas turbine engine 100 is at rest to an open position when the gas turbine engine 100 is in operation. In one embodiment, the valve 430 defines a force Fspring at the spring 432 corresponding to the valve 430 defining the closed position when the gas turbine engine 100 is at rest. The first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 corresponds to a force Fmain produced by the first pressure value at the valve 430. For example, the first pressure value at the valve 430 may be defined opposing the force Fspring. As such, when the gas turbine engine 100 is at rest, the first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 defines the force Fmain less than the force Fspring (i.e., force Fspring is greater than force Fmain) such that the force Fspring at the spring 432 keeps the valve 430 in the closed position. As stated above, when the valve 430 is in the closed position the flow of lubricant is disposed through the emergency lubricant conduit 420. Additionally, or alternatively, when the valve 430 is in the closed position, the flow of lubricant is disabled from flow through the main lubricant conduit 410.
  • Additionally, when the gas turbine engine 100 is in operation (i.e., producing combustion gases 136 such as described in regard to FIG. 2), the first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 defines the force Fmain greater than the force Fspring (i.e., force Fspring is less than force Fmain) such that the force Fspring keeps the valve 430 in the open position. As stated above, when the valve 430 is in the open position the flow of lubricant is disposed through the main lubricant conduit 410. Additionally, or alternatively, when the valve 430 is in the open position, the flow of lubricant is disabled from flow through the emergency lubricant conduit 420.
  • Embodiments of the lubricant system 400 generally described in regard to FIG. 4 enable detecting lubricant system failure in the gear assembly 46 of embodiments of the aircraft 10 such as shown and described in regard to FIGS. 1-3. Additionally, or alternatively, embodiments of the lubricant system 400 provide mitigation of undetected failures of lubricant systems due to dormant failure at the valve 430 in the gear assembly 46. For example, if the valve 430 fails (e.g., inoperable, non-moving, or otherwise stuck in the closed position when the gas turbine engine 100 is in operation), the second pressure sensor 441 downstream of the valve 430 measures or otherwise detects an undesirably low pressure value, such as corresponding to the second pressure value of the emergency lubricant conduit 420.
  • Referring still to FIG. 4, in various embodiments, the valve 430 generates a signal 435 indicating the valve 430 is blocked or otherwise inoperable in the open position. The signal 435 thereby detects and indicates dormant failure at the valve 430, such as when the engine (e.g., engine 100 in FIGS. 1-2) is at rest or otherwise not providing lubricant to the lubricant system 400. For example, the detection may generally occur during pre-flight checks of the aircraft 10 and/or engine 100. In one embodiment, the valve 430 generates the signal 435 as a visual indication of the open position. For example, the visual indication may include a light, marker, toggle, sign, flag, or other mechanical or physical display at the valve 430.
  • In another embodiment, the valve 430 generates the signal 435 as an electrical signal. For example, the signal 435 defining the electrical signal may be transmitted to generate an indication at the cockpit 20 (e.g., at the instrument panel 28) of the aircraft 10 (FIG. 1.). The signal 435 at the cockpit 20 may define a lubricant system error signal when the valve 430 defines the open position during non-operation of the gas turbine engine 100 (i.e., the engine is at rest). The signal 435 may define the lubricant system error signal when the valve 430 defines the closed position and the second pressure sensor 441 downstream of the valve 430 measures or otherwise detects a pressure value substantially corresponding to the second pressure value from the emergency lubricant conduit 420 when the gas turbine engine 100 is in operation.
  • In still another embodiment, the valve 430 generates the signal 435 as an electrical signal transmitted in communication (e.g., communicatively coupled with the communications interface 214 in FIG. 3) with one or more controllers 202 (FIG. 3) associated with the gear assembly 46 (FIGS. 1-2) and the lubricant system 400 (FIG. 4). The signal 435 at the controller 202 may define a lubricant system error signal when the valve 430 defines the closed position during operation of the engine 100 (e.g., FIGS. 1-2). In various embodiments, the controller 202 may adjust or modulate a control or operation of the engine 100 in response to the signal 435 indicating lubricant system error. Additionally, or alternatively, the signal 435 to the controller 202 may be coupled with one or more signals from the sensors 440, 441 (FIG. 3) indicating speed, thrust, power output, etc. of the output shaft 180 of the gas turbine engine 100 (FIG. 2). As such, the signal 435 from the valve 430 and one or more signals from the sensors 440, 441 (FIG. 3) may be transmitted to the cockpit 20 of the aircraft 10 (FIG. 1) to indicate that the valve 430 is in the closed position during operation of the gas turbine engine 100 (e.g., FIGS. 1 and 3).
  • Referring now to FIG. 5, an exemplary flow diagram outlining steps of a method for operating a lubricant system for a gear assembly of an aircraft is generally provided (hereinafter, “method 1000”). The method 1000 for operating the lubricant system (e.g., lubricant system 400) may detect failure at the lubricant system and/or mitigate undetected failures at the lubricant system. The method 1000 generally outlined and described in regard to FIG. 5 may be implemented or utilized in conjunction with embodiments of the aircraft 10, the gas turbine engine 100, and/or the lubricant system 400, such as shown and described in regard to FIGS. 1-4. However, it should be appreciated that the method 1000 may further be utilized or implemented in regard to other aircraft, gas turbine engines, gear assemblies, or lubricant systems not shown herein.
  • The method 1000 includes at 1010 disposing a valve at the lubricant system at a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit in which an at rest position enables flow of lubricant to the emergency lubricant conduit and disables flow of lubricant to the main lubricant conduit. The method 1000 further includes at 1012 disposing a pressure sensor downstream of the valve at a connection between the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit. The method 1000 further includes at 1014 determining whether the valve is in an open position when an engine of the aircraft is at rest. For example, determining whether the valve is in an open position may generally occur during pre-flight checks of the aircraft and/or engines.
  • The method 1000 further includes at 1020 supplying a pressurized flow of lubricant to the lubricant system; and at 1030 disposing the valve to an open position when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit is greater than a force Fspring corresponding to the valve defining a closed position when the engine is at rest.
  • In various embodiments at 1030, such as described in regard to FIG. 4, disposing the valve to the open position is further defined when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit (e.g., first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 in FIG. 4) corresponds to a force Fmain at the valve (e.g., valve 430 in FIG. 4) greater than a force Fspring at the valve corresponding to the closed position of the valve when the gas turbine engine is at rest (i.e., zero rotation or power output from the output shaft 180 in FIG. 2). In one embodiment, disposing the valve to the open position defines the force Fmain greater than the force Fspring when the engine is in operation (e.g., in rotation or generating power output at the output shaft 180 in FIG. 2).
  • In still various embodiments at 1010, such as described in regard to FIG. 4, disposing the valve to the closed position is further defined when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit (e.g., first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 in FIG. 4) corresponds to a force Fmain at the valve (e.g., valve 430 in FIG. 4) less than the force Fspring at the valve. For example, disposing the valve to the closed position defines the force Fmain less than the force Fspring when the engine is at rest.
  • In various embodiments, the method 1000 further includes at 1040 generating a signal (e.g., signal 435 in FIG. 4) indicating the open position of the valve (e.g., valve 430 in FIG. 4). Valve 430 may produce a visual indicator during pre-flight checks to verify the open position of the valve 430 when the engine is at rest (e.g., at step 1014). The method 1000 may further include at 1042 generating a signal indicating the closed position of the valve when a pressure sensor downstream of the valve indicates a pressure value not corresponding to a pressure value at the main lubricant conduit. At 1044, the method 1000 further includes comparing the downstream and upstream pressure values during operation of the engine prior to aircraft take-off to determine whether lubricant is flowing via the main lubricant conduit rather than the emergency lubricant conduit.
  • In still various embodiments, generating the signal (e.g., signal 435) includes generating an electrical signal to a controller (e.g., controller 202 in FIG. 3) of the engine (e.g., gas turbine engine 100 in FIG. 1). For example, generating the signal may further include transmitting the signal to the controller such as to adjust or modulate operation of the engine, such as described in regard to FIG. 4. As another example, generating the signal may further include transmitting the signal to the cockpit 20 in combination with a speed, thrust, or power output signal from the sensors 440, 441 of the engine 100 (FIGS. 1-2), such as corresponding to the output shaft 180 (FIG. 2).
  • Referring still to the method 1000 at 1040 generating the signal to the controller may further include generating a lubricant system error signal when the valve defines the closed position and the engine (e.g., engine 100 in FIGS. 1-2) is in operation. In various embodiments, operation of the engine 100 may be based, at least in part, on a speed, output thrust, or power output of the engine 100 or output shaft 180 (FIG. 2). In another embodiment, the method 1000 further includes at 1050 discontinuing operation of the engine if the signal indicates the closed position at engine operation. For example, following transmission of the signal 435 to the cockpit 20 of the aircraft 10, the aircraft 10 and/or the engine 100 may be manually discontinued from further operation via a pilot or other aircraft operator. As another example, such as described in regard to FIG. 4, the signal 435 indicating lubricant system error may further adjust or modulate control of the aircraft 10 and/or the engines 100 such as to automatically inhibit or discontinue further operation of the aircraft 10 until the lubricant system error is resolved (e.g., the valve 430 defines the closed position when the engine 100 is at rest, or the valve 430 defines the open position when the engine 100 is in operation). As still another example, if prior to aircraft take-off the third pressure value from the second pressure sensor 441 does not correspond to a first pressure value at the main lubricant conduit 410 then aircraft take-off is to be aborted.
  • This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they include structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A lubricant system for a gear assembly of an aircraft including an engine, the lubricant system comprising:
a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit joined with a valve, and further wherein the valve defines a closed position disposing lubricant through the emergency lubricant conduit when the engine is at rest, and wherein the valve defines an open position disposing lubricant through the main lubricant conduit when the engine is in operation.
2. The lubricant system of claim 1, further comprising a first pressure sensor disposed along the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit upstream of the valve.
3. The lubricant system of claim 2, further comprising a second pressure sensor disposed downstream of the valve and disposed at the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit.
4. The lubricant system of claim 3, wherein the first pressure sensor defines a pressure transducer measuring a pressure value upstream relative to the main lubricant conduit and the emergency lubricant conduit, and wherein the second pressure sensor defines a pressure transducer measuring a pressure value downstream of the valve.
5. The lubricant system of claim 1, wherein the valve comprises an elastic displacement device.
6. The lubricant system of claim 5, wherein the valve defines a force Fspring corresponding to the valve defining the closed position, wherein Fspring is greater than a force Fmain corresponding to a pressure at the main lubricant conduit when the engine is at rest.
7. The lubricant system of claim 5, wherein the lubricant system defines the pressure at the main lubricant conduit when the engine is in operation corresponding to a force Fmain greater than the force Fspring.
8. The lubricant system of claim 1, wherein the valve is configured to generate a signal indicating the valve is in the open position.
9. The lubricant system of claim 8, wherein the valve is configured to generate the signal as a visual indication of the open position.
10. The lubricant system of claim 8, wherein the valve is configured to generate the signal as an electrical signal.
11. A method for operating a lubricant system for a gear assembly of an aircraft, wherein the aircraft comprises one or more engines, the method comprising:
supplying a pressurized flow of lubricant to the lubricant system;
determining whether a valve disposed at a main lubricant conduit and an emergency lubricant conduit indicates an open position when the engine is at rest, wherein the open position indicates a failure of the valve enabling flow of lubricant from the emergency lubricant conduit to the gear assembly; and
generating a signal indicating the open position of the valve when the engine is at rest.
12. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
generating a signal indicating a closed position of the valve when a pressure sensor downstream of the valve indicates a pressure value not corresponding to a pressure value at the main lubricant conduit.
13. The method of claim 12, further comprising:
discontinuing operation of the engine if the signal indicates the closed position at engine operation.
14. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
comparing a pressure value from a pressure sensor downstream of the valve and a pressure value upstream of the valve.
15. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
supplying a pressurized flow of lubricant to the lubricant system when the engine is in operation.
16. The method of claim 11, wherein generating the signal includes generating a visual indication of the open position of the valve.
17. The method of claim 11, wherein generating the signal includes generating an electrical signal to a controller of the engine.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein generating the electrical signal to the controller includes generating the signal indicating a lubricant system error when the valve defines the closed position at engine operation.
19. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
disposing the valve to the open position when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit corresponds to a force Fmain at the valve greater than a force Fspring at the valve.
20. The method of claim 11, further comprising:
disposing the valve to a closed position when a pressure of lubricant at the main lubricant conduit corresponds to a force Fmain at the valve less than a force Fspring at the valve.
US16/425,411 2018-06-05 2019-05-29 System and method for gear assembly lubricant system failure detection Pending US20190368380A1 (en)

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KR20090089789A (en) * 2008-02-19 2009-08-24 베르트질레 슈바이츠 악티엔게젤샤프트 An apparatus for the lubrication of cylinders
EP3044438B1 (en) * 2013-09-13 2018-07-04 United Technologies Corporation Fan drive gear system auxiliary pump monitoring system
US10145276B2 (en) * 2015-06-23 2018-12-04 United Technologies Corporation Lubricant valve monitoring method and assembly

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EP3590831A8 (en) 2020-11-04
CN110686075A (en) 2020-01-14
EP3590831A1 (en) 2020-01-08
CN110686075A8 (en) 2020-07-31
CN110686075B (en) 2021-09-21
EP3590831B1 (en) 2021-05-05

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